Why I’m known as The Dragonfly Lady…

I’m not exactly sure how old this story is… maybe 25 years old? I can’t remember if we had Kristoffer or not but I still remember the details so I’ll see if I can paint the story in your mind as you read along…

However many years ago it was, our church took a float trip down the Current River in Missouri. You know the kind of float trip where you get the big black inner tubes and sit in them with your legs hanging over the side and your body resting in the middle of the inner tube like you were riding a donut. Here’s a picture of what I mean… (these pictures are just a few I found when I googled Current River Float trip.) I’m not sure anyone took any pictures of our trips back then…

blog float trip picture 2

Some years we had over a hundred people go on the trip so we would be strung out on the river like this…

blog float trip group pic

Sometimes you’d float by yourself or with a friend and other times you’d sling your leg over someone else’s tube and they’d do the same with another tube, so you’d end up with this big conglomeration of tubes all floating together.

I don’t know if you know this or not, but dragonfly’s love the water and they flit and flutter all around it and are very hard to catch! Actually almost impossible!

Well, this one time, we were floating in a pretty large group and our pastor said to the church secretary, “Hey, I’ll give you $100 if you eat a dragonfly!” She quickly said, “Oh, ick, NO…” and we all laughed about it. Well, silly me… guess what I did? I said, “Pastor Dale, I’ll eat one for $75…in fact, I’ll even eat one for $50!” He said, “You’re on…” but remember how hard I said it was to catch one. I tried and tried and tried and FINALLY one landed on my leg and I slapped it with my hand. It was trapped and now I could win my $50! I slowly moved my hand away and caught him (or her?) with my fingers and stood there holding him with his wings buzzing. It was a Blue Dasher dragonfly… like this…

blog blue dragonfly

I don’t think anyone thought I would go through with it, and I wasn’t sure I could, so before I did any more thinking, I just shoved him in my mouth, but he was sort of fluttering so I used my tongue and pushed him up against the roof of my mouth and just sort of held him there. I guess I must have killed him because he stopped moving.

No one could believe I did it, and they weren’t sure if I had tricked them somehow, so when they started asking, “Did you swallow it?” I opened my mouth, stuck out my tongue with him stuck on it, made some hideous sound like BLAH … everyone just moaned and there were lots of EEEWWWWW’s….
When I tried to swallow him it was sort of like swallowing a wadded up piece of cellophane tape… but I got him down…

I later read how the Blue Dashers favorite food is mosquito larvae…and it made me a little bit nauseous.

We finished up the float trip and later that evening Pastor Dale came to me with a $50 bill and said I had totally earned it.

For years after that, he’d tell the story to the new ones going on the trip. Friends would buy me things that had dragonfly’s on them…mugs, tee-shirts, earrings, napkin rings, trivets, wall hangings, blank journals with dragonfly covers…just all sorts of things.

I got to thinking and wondering how many dragonfly things I could find that I still have… This is what I found when I did a quick scouting of my stuff…

Pastor Dale’s wife made these copper dragonfly earrings for me a few years later…


Someone gave me these tiny dragonfly earrings…


I bought this pretty copper and green dragonfly necklace… and I wear it every once in a while.


I found this dragonfly fabric that I’ve had for a while… I was always going to make a purse out of it…


…and of course I have plenty of dragonfly appliques… I used them on little girls dresses years ago… but I like to keep them still…


Still even now, I’ll have someone say something to me about dragonfly’s… they must have been on that float trip! :o)

So that’s why I’m called The Dragonfly Lady… are you grossed out? I hope this won’t cause you to think less of me as I’m sewing my doll dresses! :o)

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne


  1. (……………………………………………………………..)
    speechless…. what can one say? LOL!! what did you spend your $50 on?

    • Hi Mary,
      It was so long ago I can’t remember what I spent the $50 on…but if I were a betting woman, I’d guess it was fabric!!!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Glad you were able to cash in on that, but for me, just …. NO! LOL A little on the gross side, but I still think you are a wonderful person. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Hi Christine,
      I guess that $50 meant more to me back then…because I don’t think I’d do it today!
      Sorry I grossed you out… :o)
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. I think this was the least expected blog entry for this blog ever.

    I had a friend who ate a small moth, but she had a reason for that. She was an actress playing Constance in King John in an outdoor theater, and she had just opened her mouth to give a speech when the moth flew into it. She didn’t have much time for decision making — she bit, swallowed, and began talking.

    I checked to see how you categorized this one (Uncategorized) — my favorite category is actually two — My Life, Uncategorized — which I first read as one. It would make a wonderful title for an autobiography. When I worked in the library, I used to find books with great titles. One favorite was The Owl Is the Baker’s Daughter (about anorexia), and another was Maximum Feasible Misunderstanding, of which my sister said, “It sounds like my marriage.”

    I’m looking forward to today’s adventures, which will probably bring us back to the incredible progress you will have made in your sewing room. I’ll bet you will even have chosen the fabric and model for your next outfit.

    • Hi Marilyn,
      Well, I’ve gotta keep you all guessing… and interesting or else you might not come back!
      I didn’t relish the idea of dragonfly “parts” in my teeth so I opted to just “smash and swallow.” :o)
      I haven’t figured out who is up next but I did find my pin cushion… it was lost!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. bobi florida says:

    I have to respond to this one and say that this was the absolute last thing I believed I would ever read about your life, Jeanne. I’m in shock and the only thing I can think of to say is why on earth would you talk him down to $50??

    • Hi Bobi,
      I guess I thought he might not have been serious… so I went low! I look back on that time now and don’t think I wanted attention…I just wanted $50!
      Hopefully that’s the only story I’ll ever tell you that will shock you!!!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. I shouldn’t have read this at breakfast time! Jeanne Marie!!!! Gross!!!!!! I think you forgot the rest of your title …. the CRAZY Dragonfly Lady!! LOL LOL LOL

    • Hi Karen,
      You’re right…I should have added “crazy” to my title…
      Sorry to have grossed you out at breakfast…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. When I was little my oldest brother used to catch grasshoppers and use a magnifying glass to cook them and then force me to eat them.. I just remember him making me eat them I don’t remember taste.. My son is the type that will beat he can eat just about anything.. I have seen him eat goldfish and haberno peppers (spelling?). So I think when we are young we do silly things.. ๐Ÿ™‚
    looking forward to seeing the room organized.. I won’t say finished.. cuz us seamstresses never have our sewing from done.
    Hugs, Kath

    • Hi Kath,
      Oh good…someone else besides me who did crazy, stupid things when we were younger! I can’t believe your brother used to make you eat grasshoppers… at least they were cooked… all you needed was a little chocolate dipping sauce!
      I’m working feverishly in my sewing room…trying to figure out what is the best layout that gives me the best lighting and accessibility to everything.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Oh, I hope it wasn’t endangered!
    I just had to find out, but some people do eat them. In Bali they catch and cook in coconut oil. Just like candy they say….

    • Hi Joy,
      I don’t know about the candy part…but I did know they were delicacies in some parts of the world. It was a one time thing with me… :o)
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Hi Jeanne,

    Very funny post… I’m loving it! Not saying I would do it and like Bobi why talk him down to $50? Have you ever thought of applying for Survivor? You’ve got the eating interesting things down pat!

    • Hi Ingrid,
      Actually I’m a bit of a bug fanatic…I don’t like them at all…June bugs, crickets, gnats, flies…ICK to all of them…so how I ever got that dragonfly down is beyond me…
      I wouldn’t last 2 days in Survivor… :o/
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Linda Doyle says:

    Jeanne Marie……………………….WHAT? Of all things to do, and you did it! Well, anyway, I still like you, but boy, this was certainly a revelation!
    Now the float trip, that looks so pretty, and yes, we do those kind of things in Missouri (float trips). My hubby has, but I have not. I get eaten up by any kind of bug out in the woods, or heck, even on my patio, so I have to be covered with a strong bug spray, and that just is not appealing to me. We do get Dragonfly’s here in our yard certain times of the year, I think late summer, because we live close to the Meramec River. But oh my gosh, I would never put one in my mouth. They are huge!

    I guess we have all done crazy things one time or another, but yours sure beats anything I did!! You win!

    • Hi Linda,
      After this post you might not ever want to meet me…just think of it as something goofy I did long ago and think of me as that doll dress maker instead. Instead of blue dragonfly think of blue doll dresses!
      There…all better now?
      Blessings. Jeanne

      • Linda Doyle says:

        Not want to meet you? Good heavens, YES I do! Would love it if we could meet up at the St. Louis AG store when Melody comes out or sometime around then.

        • HI Linda,
          Oh good, I’d hate to think that a dragonfly got in the way of our friendship!
          Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Well, Jeanne….I’ve said this to many people….it takes a life time to get to know someone…thanks for letting us in on one of your adventures in life. It was very interesting, probably not uncommon in some cultures as stated, and gives us a chance to get to know you a bit better : ). Sounds like you’re a person who can perk up at a challenge??

    Thanks for your story…any doll dragonfly dresses or dragonflies landing on a doll’s finger in your archives?


    • Hi Becky,
      This is probably the strangest and wildest story I’ll ever tell you. I think I’ll stick to making pretty little doll dresses…and keep away from the dragonflies…
      I’ll have to check for dragonflies in my dolls …I think there might be one…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. ??????????????????? Speechless. I can’t believe a pastor would say that, or you would take him up on it. It did gross me out. I guess you were very young back then and teens and young adults do some outrageous things especially if money is involved. I wouldn’t have for $5000, but that just me.
    What on earth did everyone else think?
    Looking forward to dolly posts. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • HI Laura,
      Well, sorry I made you speechless… just a goofy thing I did a long time ago… at least it’s something I can “talk” about… not necessarily a pretty topic, but just part of my past. I’m ready to do some sewing too. My sister has been helping me “long distance” with arranging things… :o)
      Oh, if $5000 was involved… no telling what I might have done… sorry Laura…

      Well, it was mostly gasps and Eeewww’s…but then they all laughed… I’m just glad Pastor Dale made good on his $50!
      Thanks Laura,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  12. Anne Johnson says:

    Fantastic story, Jeanne! Gross, but fantastic! Your future grandkids will love hearing you tell it and will definitely think grandma Jeanne is “the bomb.” How brave and fearless (and okay, maybe a tiny bit desperate, but hey, we all have our moments). ๐Ÿ˜‰ I, too, would love to know how you spent your “bug money.” Fabrics? Fun times? Flea Market finds? The answer could potentially add to your adventure story!

    Some years ago, my son was in Scotland on a photography trip with his university. Hungry and in a hurry, he stopped briefly at a street vendor to buy a sandwich before running to catch the double decker bus, just in the nick of time. As the tour resumed, my son took his seat on the open air top deck and began to devour his meager lunch. Suddenly, he noticed a snapping noise coming from the cellophane wrapped sandwich. Upon further examination, he discovered his sandwich was crawling with maggots, so off the top deck it went!

    What a daredevil you are, Jeanne! Thanks for sharing your bug-eating story with us. Your vulnerability in the telling has only endeared you to us all the more! And I agree with Linda: Of course we still want to meet you! Imagine all the fun we could have telling stories over tea! Hope your sewing room is coming along nicely!

    • HI Anne,
      It happened so long ago, I don’t remember what I spent the $50 on, but I told someone else, it was probably fabric… whenever I earned extra money, it usually involved a trip to the fabric store.
      Oh, now Anne, that is a gross story… Oh how awful… I would have lost my lunch over that one!
      My sewing room is getting there… I’m texting back and forth with my “decorator sister” in PA about where to put things… :o)
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  13. That dragonfly fabric would make a very pretty shopping bag. You could carry it when you meet Linda at the AG store, which sounds to me like an excellent idea.

    • HI Marilyn,
      I just might make a bag out of it…it’s a pretty substantial fabric as it is… so that might work… I’m hoping with Linda only 2 hours away, that we can meet sometime…
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  14. Charlotte Trayer says:

    Well, it Does gross me out a bit, your eating a dragonfly!! (However, I’ve eaten alligator tail and ostrich egg and ostrich meat–none of it that I’ve caught and eaten raw, though!)

    That said, I did enjoy seeing your dragonflies! I rather like them (as a motif) myself, although I prefer butterflies!

    • HI Charlotte,
      Sorry if it wasn’t your favorite post… it was part of my past… OH BROTHER! :o)
      Yes, butterflies are much nicer!!! Maybe someday I’ll do a post of dolls who can be seen holding butterflies…
      Thanks so much,
      blessings, Jeanne

  15. What a tale! Wouldn’t want to try to top that one. That was a lot of money back then. I love your My Life stories. You are sure a good sport!

    Glad your sister is in on the redecorating. Is it possible to separate the two matching white pieces so they are not side by side? It might showcase them better. Maybe not enough room to do it. Maybe move the chest to the middle of the room lengthwise and add a hinged piece on the back of the chest with a support leg or two to pull up to make a cutting table just the right size. Hard to describe in writing.

    • HI Susette,
      Glad you were too grossed out by my tale… yes, $50 was a lot back then…and just think of all the fabric I could spend it on! ( I can’t remember what I did spend it on…)

      My sister was helping me… “move it this way a few inches, lift it higher, put it farther to the right, etc…” we had a series of texts going for quite a while.

      I know what you mean by “pulling the leg out so it has support legs” but my room isn’t big enough to do that. There is a stairway that goes into the basement and my sewing room has that part where it goes through but it is turned into bookshelves in my room…so it sort of juts out into the room. The room is actually like a a block letter C in shape…do you understand. I think I’ll draw a picture of my floor plan so you all can see what the room is like.
      I’m trying to figure out what is the best way to arrange my things so it gives me the best use of all my space. I’ll figure it out… with “Cindy’s help…” maybe… :o)
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  16. Kathie Welsh says:

    OMGosh girl you never cease to a
    Amaze me….what a hoot you are! Love that story! I’d be the one watching and wretching while urging you on!๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜

    • HI Kathie,
      So you’d be egging me on to eat the dragonfly, huh? You’re about the only one on here who would… I think I need to stay away from the bug stories… I think I made too many people cringe… :o)
      Thanks Kathie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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